Bruins

Morning Skate: Chiarelli on Eberle trade rumors, McDavid extension

Morning Skate: Chiarelli on Eberle trade rumors, McDavid extension

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading, while encouraged by the rave reviews for the Wonder Woman movie.

*Good interviews with Pierre Lebrun and the Canadian GMs, so here’s the 1-on-1 with Peter Chiarelli discussing Jordan Eberle trade rumors and the upcoming extension talks for Connor McDavid. It will be interesting to see if the Bruins would have any interest in Eberle at this point as he’s regressed a bit, and even more interesting if the current Bruins management and Chiarelli could ever come together on a trade given the past history there.

*Talks are ongoing between the Vancouver Canucks and Ryan Miller, but Jim Benning has already stepped up and said that Jakob Markstrom is going to be the No. 1 goalie for Vancouver next season.

*A group of NHL insiders offers opinions about the Washington Capitals, and what they will do about Alex Ovechkin and trade rumors that have been left open by a qualified answer from their general manager.

*Since we can’t get enough of the Catfish-tossing Predators fan who won’t face criminal charges as it stands, here’s the complete saga for the Game 1 fish-tossing incident and the report on charges being dropped.

*Former NHL forward Scott Gomez, who did a nice job of TV analyst work during the playoffs, is headed to the New York Islanders as an assistant coach.

*Former Bruins defenseman Matt Irwin has found a home with the Nashville Predators after getting dumped a couple of games into his career in Boston and it looks like he might have had something to offer after all. That being said, Irwin was a stopgap player at best when he was with the Bruins and they were just as well it was just as well they moved on from him when they did at the beginning of last season.

*Carey Price is eligible for a contract extension with the Montreal Canadiens, and it’s expected that he’s going to set the NHL standard for goaltender contracts as the most important player on the Montreal roster. So the Tuukka Rask contract ($7 million per season) won’t look quite so weighty once Price has agreed to something with the Habs. The Bruins have that going for them, which is nice.

*Should we see automatic and mandatory suspensions in the NHL for head shots? Former Bruins center Marc Savard said he wants to see it happen and it with good reason in his case.

*For something completely different: A rough article to read going over the final days of Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell.

 

Talking Points: Signs point to Pastrnak busting out of mini-slump

bruins_penguins_david_pastrnak_112417.jpg

Talking Points: Signs point to Pastrnak busting out of mini-slump

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak netted the game-winner in the third period after getting freed up for a breakaway chance, and then throwing a double-move at Matt Murray before tucking one under his glove hand. It was the first goal in six games for Pastrnak, and it capped off a day when he topped 22 minutes of ice time, had a team-high five shots on net and battled through some physical play from the Penguins to get toward his offense. The 21-year-old continues to set the pace for the Bruins offensively, and has shown all the signs in the last couple of games that he’s busting out of whatever mini-slump was holding him down. Everybody knows that Pasta isn’t good for Thanksgiving, but it is certainly good for Black Friday.

BLACK EYE: A tough afternoon for former Boston College standout Brian Dumoulin, who got rocked by a couple of heavy Noel Acciari hits later in the game, finishing with a minus-2 rating while sitting on the ice for a couple of goals against. Dumoulin finished with three giveaways in 20:03 of ice time, managed only a single shot on net and was one of the weaker links on the ice for Pittsburgh in a game where they didn’t play too badly in the final 40 minutes. Dumoulin seems to struggle a bit when he comes back to Boston, and Black Friday afternoon was no exception.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were outplayed in the second period despite outshooting the Penguins by a 14-8 margin, and they watched as Pittsburgh pressed them for three goals in the middle 20 minutes. But in what turned out to be a very important play in the game, Matt Grzelcyk finished off a broken play in front of the net to score his first NHL goal on the Garden ice where he grew up skating. That goal allowed the Bruins to move into the second intermission with a tied hockey game, and set things up for the third period heroics where David Pastrnak scored the game-winner on a breakaway strike.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk put together another strong performance, and his line played a giant role in the Bruins jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. He set up the David Krejci goal that got the Bruins up and rolling in the first period, and then he also fed Krejci again in the second period on a shot attempt he fanned on in the slot. The puck drifted over to Matt Grzelcyk for Boston’s third goal, and it capped off a day where the rookie winger topped 18 minutes of ice time, had two assists and a plus-1 rating, finished with four shots on net and had a couple of hits in there for good measure.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – the placement the Bruins now have in the Atlantic Division after winning four games in a row, which puts them back into a playoff spot on the day after Thanksgiving. What a stunning turnaround it’s been over the last couple of weeks.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “it’s exciting. You’re on NBC, you’re playing against the Stanley Cup Champions, everyone is watching, let’s put our best foot forward. I know it’s one of 82, but it’s a bigger one of 82 the way I look at it, and I think they felt the same way coming out [in the first period].” –Bruce Cassidy, on the strong start from the Black and Gold. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Pastrnak's third-period goal gives Bruins their fourth straight victory, 4-3 over Pens

Pastrnak's third-period goal gives Bruins their fourth straight victory, 4-3 over Pens

BOSTON – The Bruins always hope to give their fans something good in their annual matinee on the day after Thanksgiving, and that was the case Friday.

They got off on the right foot with a great first period, then finished with an electric breakaway from David Pastrnak in the third period, and posted an entertaining, solid 4-3 win over the back-to-back Stanley Cup champ Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden.

Pastrnak’s 11th goal of the season was the game-winner. The Penguins had battled back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits and tied the score, then Pastrnak was freed up by a brilliant neutral-zone pass from Riley Nash. He sped in all alone and flipped the puck over Matt Murray’s glove hand at 5:06 of the third.

David Krejci and Sean Kuraly had opened things up with goals in the first period, as the B's outshot the Penguins by a 14-4 margin. But Sidney Crosby and the Pens answered back in the second with three goals of their own, including a controversial game-tying score from Sid the Kid after Boston had moved ahead 3-1 on a goal from Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk.

The Crosby goal came after it appeared the refs had called play dead with a whistle as the puck sat on Anton Khudobin’s waist in the crease. It also appeared to have been goalie interference, as Crosby’s stick had made contact with Khudobin while the puck was in mid-air. But on replay the officials overturned the call of no-goal on the ice, and the score was tied 3-3 after two.

That set things up for Pastrnak, who snapped a five-game goal-scoring stretch, and handed the red-hot Bruins their season-high fourth win in a row.